The Bishops of England and Wales renewed their commitment to the principles of Laudato Si’ concerning care for creation. They have called for the development of a ‘Christian spirituality of ecology’ which begins in the ‘personal’ and ‘family life’. In outlining the depths of the crisis, they invite Catholics ‘to engage in this urgent challenge, so that together we show leadership by our actions.’
According to British Gas Business, more than 4,500 Catholic churches and schools (including around 200 parishes in our diocese) have switched to renewable gas and electricity, making the Church one of the largest single consumers of green gas certificates based on annual volume in the UK. The Church’s energy procurement group, Inter-diocesan Fuel Management, was instrumental in securing the green gas deal having provided renewable electricity for over 25 years to the dioceses that it serves.
In 2011, CAFOD launched the LiveSimply Award which aims to highlight communities who have demonstrated a commitment to living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation. So far, 50 parishes, seven schools and one university have received an award, with 120 parishes and schools registered for the scheme. CAFOD also support the Salford B.O.B Box project, a scheme that sells bird-nesting or bat-roosting boxes, giving local populations somewhere secure to live and breed, with three-quarters of the money raised going to support overseas work.
Launching in September, to complement this commitment, is the Laudato Si’ Research Institute, run by the Jesuits at Campion Hall, Oxford. It will also be possible to take an MA in Theology, Ecology and Ethics at Roehampton University.
The Bishops’ Conference also encourages people to take part on social media, during the global ecumenical celebration of prayer and action which begins on 1st September each year and finishes on the feast of
St Francis, 4th October, using #seasonofcreation. The theme for this year is ‘the web of life’. More information is available at https://www.cbcew.org.uk/